Famed scholar and Japanologist Donald Keene has donated 600 books from his vast collection to the central municipal library of Tokyo's Kita Ward.
The 89-year-old teacher, writer and translator used most of the books for research during his career.
Kita Ward plans to create a special section within the library to accommodate the collection in fiscal 2012.
Keene, who lives in Kita Ward, spent the past 37 years traveling between Japan and New York, where he is a professor emeritus of Japanese literature at Columbia University.
In September, Keene moved to Japan on a permanent basis and is seeking Japanese citizenship.
Among the books he donated are tomes on the history of Japanese literature. He also donated six paintings. Some of the books contain Keene's handwritten notes, and one has an autograph by Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972), the Nobel Prize-winning novelist.
"I would like those books to be read by many people," Keene said on Oct. 27.
Earlier this month, Keene gave a lecture at a symposium in Sendai, where he talked about being deeply moved 56 years ago by the sight of the Golden Hall at the Chusonji Temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, during the cherry blossom season.
He noted that the Golden Hall glittered in the dark forest and recalled the colors of cherry trees that had blossomed following a long Tohoku winter.
"I admire them both," Keene said. "Nothing symbolizes Tohoku better."
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